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Paul, Barbara

Entry updated 13 June 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1931-2022) US author who began publishing sf with "Answer 'Affirmative' or 'Negative'" for Analog in April 1972, but who became much better known in the 1980s for her detective novels, of which she has written at least twenty; one of them, Liars and Tyrants and People who Turn Blue (1980), depends for its plot upon a psychic character. Earlier Paul wrote several sf novels – An Exercise for Madmen (1978), Pillars of Salt (1979), Bibblings (1979) and Under the Canopy (1980) – which feature women protagonists, through whom an unprogrammatic Feminism is pursued as they find themselves coping with sf-adventure situations. In An Exercise for Madmen, set on a planet (or perhaps an immense Space Habitat) devoted to science, Dystopian elements, and a Mysterious Stranger from another world, activate the tale. Pillars of Salt is a Time-Travel tale which confronts its twenty-first-century protagonist with the challenge of becoming Queen Elizabeth I of England. A later novel, The Three-Minute Universe (1988), is a Star Trek Tie (see Star Trek). Her nonfantastic mystery novel Full Frontal Murder (1997) jokily takes several character names from Blake's Seven (1978-1981).

Paul should not be confused with the Barbara Paul, pseudonym of Barbara Kathleen Ovstedal (1925-    ), who wrote The Curse of Halewood (1976; vt Devil's Fire, Love's Revenge 1976). [JC]

Barbara Jeanne Paul

born Maysville, Kentucky: 5 June 1931

died ?June 2022

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